Demeter, Persephone and Triptolemos
Fragment of the Great Eleusinian mysteries.
Ten marble fragments of a Roman copy are inserted into a cast from an original relief from the National Museum in Athens.
Marble, plaster.
Ca. 27 BCE — 14 CE.
H. 227 cm.
Inv. No. 14.130.9.New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art

Demeter, Persephone and Triptolemos.

Fragment of the Great Eleusinian mysteries.
Ten marble fragments of a Roman copy are inserted into a cast from an original relief from the National Museum in Athens.
Marble, plaster.
Ca. 27 BCE — 14 CE.
H. 227 cm.
Inv. No. 14.130.9.

New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art

Origin:
Said to have been found in Rome (Richter 1935, pp. 216, 219).
Until 1914, with Alfredo Barsanti, Rome; acquired in November 1914, purchased from A. Barsanti, Rome.
Rogers Fund, 1914.
Description:
Demeter, the goddess of agricultural abundance, stands at the left, clad in a peplos and himation (cloak) and holding a scepter. At the right is Persephone, her daughter and the wife of Hades, the god of the underworld. She is dressed in a chiton and himation. Each goddess extends her right hand toward a nude youth, but it is no longer possible to determine what they held. The boy is thought to be Triptolemos, who was sent by Demeter to teach men how to cultivate grain. On contemporary Athenian vases, he is usually shown as a bearded adult seated in a winged chariot about to set out on his civilizing mission. The original marble relief was found at the sanctuary of Demeter at Eleusis, the site of the Eleusinian mysteries, a secret cult that was famous throughout antiquity.

The original Greek work and a number of Roman copies survive. Here the ten Roman fragments are embedded in a cast of the Greek relief. Compared to the original, the execution of the hair and drapery in the copy is sharper and accords with the style current in Augustan art.

Literature:
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Richter, Gisela M. A. 1935. “A Roman Copy of the Eleusinian Relief”. Bulletin of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 30(11): pp. 216—20, figs. 1, 3—4.

Art News. 1935. “Reconstructed Copy of Eleusinian Relief at the Metropolitan”. Art News, 34. p. 8.

Metropolitan Museum of Art. 1937. A Guide to the Collections. no. 4, p. 36, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Richter, Gisela M. A. 1937. “A Roman Copy of the Eleusinian Relief”. Archaiologike Ephemeris,: pp. 20—26, figs. 2, 3, pls. 1—4.

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Richter, Gisela M. A. 1954. Catalogue of Greek Sculptures. no. 34, pp. 27—28, pl. 32a, Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.

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Lexicon Iconographicum Mythologiae Classicae (LIMC). 1997. Vol. 8: Thespiades-Zodiacus. “Triptolemos”, p. 58, no. 13, pl. 30, Zürich: Artemis Verlag.

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Credits:
(cc) 2020. Photo, text: The Metropolitan Museum of Art (CC0 1.0).
Keywords: ελληνική μυθολογία mythologia graeca greek mythology mitologia greca griechische mythologie grecque δημήτηρ δήμητρα δηώ dea demeter goddess divinità demetra göttin déesse déméter θεά περσεφόνη κόρη persephone kore kora core persefone perséphone τριπτόλεμος triptolemus triptolemos trittolemo triptolème ρωμαϊκή romana roman römische romaine προσερπίνα proserpina proserpine prosèrpina gottheit divinité θεότητα κέρες ceres cerere cérès γλυπτική sculptura sculpture sculptural scultura skulptur greco greche griechisches grecquesё ανακούφιση relief rilievo ρωμαϊκό romano romani römisch römisches römischen römischer romain romains romaines ρωμαϊκό αντίγραφο copy copia kopie copie marble marmo marmor marbre μάρμαρο female dress clothes clothing garment abbigliamento femminile damenbekleidung vêtements pour femmes γυναικεία ρούχα hairdo hairstyle pettinatura acconciatura weibliche frisur coiffure féminine θηλυκό χτένισμα male footwear footgear calzatura maschile männerschuhe chaussures hommes ανδρικά παπούτσια frauenschuhe solea sandal sandals sandalo sandali sandale πέδιλα σάμβαλα σάνδᾰλον σανδάλια σανδάλι chiton khiton chitone χιτών youth young man giovane junge adolescent νεαρός sceptrum sceptre scettro zepter σκήπτρο plaster cast calco in gesso gips abguss abguß gypse plâtre γύψο frizzle curl arricciamento arricciolamento ricciolo riccio krause ringel frisure frisottis torch torcia fackel torche flambeau δαυλός hymation himation crepida crepidula κρηπίς nude uomo nudo nackt nackter mann homme nu long hair capelli lunghi lange haare cheveux longs wavy waved mossi ondulata welliges haar gewellte ondulés ondulée peplos peplum peplo péplos πέπλος πέπλον sacra eleusinia mysteria eleusina great eleusinian mysteries misteri eleusini mysterien von eleusis mystères d’éleusis ἐλευσίνια μυστήρια ελευσίνια gold grain inv no 14.130.9